Lead Software Engineer (Ground Segment)



Software Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2022

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


The SpaceX Ground Segment team is responsible for supporting a wide array of communications needs. They support and deploy our worldwide network of ground stations, own all launch site and recovery RF communications and optical tracking, and maintain all Starlink telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) assets. For all real-time operations of Falcon, Dragon, and Starship, the team facilitates NASA flight operations interfaces and network integration, as well as mission control video and communications readiness testing. Additionally, as the focus turns towards the Human Landing System, the team is working on developing the plan and infrastructure that will be used to communicate with our vehicles and teams on and around the moon.

As the lead software engineer on the Ground Segment team, you will be responsible for helping design the overall architecture of new and legacy control infrastructure while also supporting and mentoring the team and providing guidance and prioritization. You will oversee and guide members of the team with their individual projects, provide clear feedback during design and code reviews, and develop projects of your own through their full product life cycle. You will demonstrate extreme ownership of this software through deep understanding of both internal and external needs and interfaces while pushing to meet aggressive timelines. You will also work closely with other disciplines and think at a system level to ensure a high level of reliability for mission critical tracking and data.


  • Provide strong technical leadership to a team of software engineers with a focus on continuous improvement
  • Design, test, and integrate highly reliable and available software systems that operate for long periods of time with minimal maintenance at scale
  • Drive architecture, design, and code reviews
  • Develop prototypes to prove out key design concepts and quantify technical constraints
  • Partner with avionics, space operations, GNC, and other stakeholders to create effective working relationships to drive feature rich and customer focused software
  • Perform post operation data analysis to inform continuous improvement of mission critical software systems including automated imaging and tracking systems
  • Be a strong mentor to your direct reports


  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, math, or science discipline and 2+ years of experience in software development; OR 6+ years of experience in software development
  • 2+ years of experience in C++
  • Experience leading teams, either formally or as part of a team project


  • 2+ years of experience with spacecraft, ground station, or other communication system operations
  • 2+ years of project or industry experience with RF, controls, spacecraft, and/or communications systems
  • Developed, debugged and deployed software that has been used in real world applications/projects
  • Experience leading and working on technical teams in a rapidly changing, highly demanding environment, either through direct management responsibility or in a technical capacity
  • Experience with networking protocols (UDP, TCP, etc)
  • Solid fundamental knowledge of networks, electronics, math, engineering, and physics
  • Strong skills in debugging, performance optimization, and unit testing
  • Creative approach to problem solving, engineering, and design with exceptional analytical skills
  • Strong desire to mentor and grow employees
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Experience with Python
  • Electromechanical/mechatronics software system design and development
  • Working knowledge of control theory
  • Experience designing fault tolerant software
  • Thorough knowledge of computer architecture and networks
  • Ability to work independently and in a team, take initiative, and communicate effectively


  • Extended hours and weekend work may be required to support critical project and mission milestones


Pay range:
Software Engineer/Lead: $160,000.00 - $220,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.